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Radical Amazement

Jan 1 / Todd Houston

As we begin a new year, most of us reflect on what we want to accomplish over the following 12 months. Some of us have resolutions that define the personal and professional goals we want to achieve. From weight loss and drinking more water to being a better parent or spouse or learning a new skill for our careers, we all have areas of our lives that we hope to improve.

 

One strategy often used to stay motivated as we push ourselves to meet our goals is to select two or three words that inspire us and to post those words in places where we will see them several times a day. Similarly, some people may choose a quote that accomplishes the same thing.

For me, after enduring the often difficult and challenging 2020, I’ve decided on a quote that I know will be a source of motivation and also will help me focus on what truly matters in life.

 

The quote that I’m referring to is by Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Polish-born American Rabbi & Philosopher.

He said, “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal, everything is incredible, never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.

 

If I were to choose just two words from the quote to guide me, then I would select ‘radical amazement.’ Consider those two words. Radical can be defined as far-reaching or thorough; amazement can be a great surprise or wonder.

 

Over the next 12 months, our team at 3C will embrace the concept of radical amazement and will apply it to our work. We pledge to you that we’ll bring content to you that is far-reaching, thorough, and amazing, and also surprisingly wondrous and innovative.

We want to be your partner as we work together to meet your needs for knowledge, skills, and experiences. We hope that you’ll join us on this journey and help us achieve these goals. 
Collectively, let’s jettison the hardships of 2020 and simply say!

Welcome to 2021, a year that will be radically amazing!

~ Todd

You’ve certainly experienced loneliness, right?. But did you know about its long-term effects?

Former surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, claims that: 

"People who struggle with loneliness end up living shorting lives…are at an increased risk for heart disease, depression, dementia, anxiety, and a host of other conditions.”

Now that statement makes you stop and think, “I don’t want that.” Now to clarify, loneliness isn’t inherently wrong; each one of us needs time alone. It also is not entirely based on how big or small your social network encompasses. Instead, loneliness becomes an issue when it turns into something more chronic.

Professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, Julianne Holt- Lunstad, defines loneliness as

"…the discrepancy between our actual level of social connection and our desired level of connection.”

You see, what’s haunting about loneliness is that it shows no prejudice based on race, class, or gender. Anyone can feel lonely, even if it seems like they would be the last person to experience it.


The idea of loneliness can heavily impact not just a person’s physical health but mental health too. Support systems feel like they’re breaking down. All you feel is isolation. Self-preservation takes over.


The point of learning about the effects of loneliness shouldn’t make you dismayed. Instead, it should inform you to protect yourself against chronic loneliness better and assist others when they could feel lonely. Loneliness indicates that we should be connecting with others to live in a community.


Think about what community means or looks like to you:
  • What does community look like to me? In-person? Digital?
  • What are some communities that I could be a part of based on shared interests?


Try to identify what friends you connect with most:

  • Which friends do you connect with the most? Why?
  • Should I start making a weekly or monthly time to hang out more with this friend?


Or you could start making new connections at the park, an event, at school. Anywhere. On the flip side, give people grace when they might be feeling lonely. Their distance and bad behavior may be symptoms of a more significant issue they are internalizing. Better yet, ask them if they need help with anything. You could brighten their day.

If you or someone else you know ever starts feeling loneliness in the worst way, breathe. Realize that often it’s a temporary phase that can be resolved by leaning on old connections or creating new ones. Of course, dealing with loneliness is a personal process. Take your time.

There is no shame in feeling lonely. However, we should remember to do our best to avoid the type of loneliness that affects physical and mental health because there is so much more life to live.

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That is the 3C way!

Thanks for reading,

~Katheryn

Note: This article is a summary and review of a piece done by Freakonomics Podcast. The source can be found here: https://freakonomics.com/podcast/loneliness/.

 

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About the blogger

K. Todd Houston, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Todd is currently a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Akron.

In a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, Dr. Houston has been a photojournalist, an Executive Director/CEO of an international non-profit organization, a clinician, published author, researcher, and an academic. This professional journey has shaped a world-view that embraces diversity and supports engagement across cultures.

Dr. Houston has a passion for ensuring that others have an opportunity to fully express themselves.

Combining his journalism background with more than two decades of focused work with children and adults impacted by hearing loss, Dr. Houston has co-created a company that is committed to producing a range of content that informs and inspires.

Through the 3C Digital Media Network, Dr. Houston will bring together a diverse array of voices who can tell their stories and inspire others to be their very best selves.

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